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A weekly deep dive into Criminal Justice with Erik Rasmussen and Dennis Schrantz

A weekly deep dive into Criminal Justice with Erik Rasmussen and Dennis Schrantz
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A weekly deep dive into Criminal Justice with Erik Rasmussen and Dennis Schrantz




Ep. 16 - Implementing Reform Is like Conducting an Orchestra, with Roger Przybylski

Follow Roger Przybylski’s work at: RKC GroupImplementing Evidence-Based PracticesWhat Works - Effective Recidivism Reduction and Risk-Focused Prevention ProgramsSpecial Issue on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice – Introduction Links National Criminal Justice Reform ProjectNational Governors AssociationFormative EvalutationSummative EvaluationTypes of summative assessment and formative assessment “When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative [evaluation]. When the guests taste the soup,...


Ep. 15 - The Meaning of Life, with Marc Mauer

Follow Marc Mauer’s work at: The Sentencing ProjectEnd Life ImprisonmentThe Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences Links Sentator Gerald MalloyCharles “Joe” HeinzVera Institute of JusticeRacial Impact Statements: Changing Policies to Address Disparities In reaction to a study that found Iowa topped the nation in racial disparity in its prison population, Iowa Governor Chet Culver in April 2008 made history by signing into law the nation’s first piece of legislation to...


Ep. 14 - A Call to Action on Racial Disparity

Links Decarceration Strategies – How 5 States Achieved Substantial Prison Population Reductions (PDF, The Sentencing Project) Connecticut: Declined 25%, 2007-2016 Michigan: Declined 20%, 2006-2016 Mississippi: Declined 17.5%, 2008-2016 Rhode Island: Declined 23%, 2008-2016 South Carolina: Declined 14%, 2008-2016 Gina Raimondo (Wikipedia) Racial Disparity Map (The Sentencing Project) Rhode Island exceeds the national disparity index (8 to 1, Blacks to Whites incarcerated in Rhode...


Ep. 13 - The Economic Impact of Persons Diverted From Prison

Links Economic Impact of Sentencing Reform Act Initiatives on the Economy, David Hughes, Ph.D, Clemson University, Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, 2.28.14 Based on a 2011 report conducted by the United States (U.S.) Government Accountability Office, and on data taken from a factsheet produced by the Children’s Defense Fund for South Carolina (2011), we estimated that 25 children are not in foster care and three children were not adopted out of foster care because...


Ep. 12 - The Role of Defense Attorneys

Links Criminal Defense LawyerJudges are more lenient after taking a break, study findsFailure to AppearEconomic Impact of Sentencing Reform Act Initiatives on the Economy, David Hughes, Ph.D, Clemson University, Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, 2.28.14Victim offender reconciliation‘Close to a breaking point’: Public defenders walk off job over high caseloadsLaw school was insanely expensive. I have colleagues who came out of law school with a quarter-million dollars...


Ep. 11 - Reducing Costs in Criminal Justice

Links Michigan spending one-fifth of its general fund budget on prisoners It cost the state — and by extension, taxpayers — an average of $36,106 to incarcerate a single person in Michigan in 2017. You can buy a new Ford Explorer for that, according to Kelley Blue Book. At that rate, a single prisoner sentenced to 30 or more years would cost Michigan taxpayers more than $1 million to incarcerate. Budget Briefing: Corrections (pdf) FY 2018-19 MDOC Budget $2,019,056,200 – Total spending...


Ep. 10 - Trust the Methodology

Links Ep. 5 – How do we know what works?Jennifer Doleac’s thread on Twitter Working on criminal justice topics gives me a very different perspective on the Kochs than my equally-liberal friends & family have. Charles Koch Foundation & Charles Kock Institute are perhaps the most important funders of research related to criminal justice policy & reform. They also frequently host conferences that bring top-notch researchers and practitioners together in one room — a chance to meet everyone...


Ep. 9 - Institutional Ego and Broken Promises in Mississippi

Links Broken promises and lost funding: how Mississippi prison reform failed Between 1993 and 2013, Mississippi’s prison population more than quadrupled, thanks largely to mandatory minimum sentences, with the population peaking in the past decade at more than 23,000. The state had a higher per capita rate of incarceration than countries such as China or Russia. By the time the bill became law in July 2014, the Mississippi Parole Board was paroling more offenders and had already reduced...


Ep. 8 - Unemployment, Before and After Prison

Links Unemployment benefits in DenmarkSoft SkillsCenter for Employment Opportunities, in New York CityNew Orleans Business AllianceUnited Way Prosperity Center, South Eastern LouisianaWork and opportunity before and after incarceration Bureau of Justice AssistanceAnnie E. Casey FoundationIntegrated Reentry and Employment Strategies – Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness


Ep. 7 - Privatization of Prisons

Links Judith Greene, Director of Justice StrategiesBailing Out Private JailsMichael Jordan has NOT invested in prisonsMarc MauerAnkle Monitor


Ep. 6 - Free Labor

Links DOJ: Alabama prisoners exposed to horrifying violence, rape; murders a ‘regular’ occurrenceCruel and Unusual PunishmentInmates at Kentucky prison build teddy bears to give back to childrenThirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall...


Ep. 5 - How do we know what works?

Links EconTalk – Jennifer Doleac on CrimeJennifer DoleacRandomized Controlled TrialBan the BoxUnintended Consequences: How “Ban the Box” Backfires for Minority Job SeekersPropensity Score MatchingUnited Way Prosperity Center, South Eastern Louisiana


Ep. 4 - Racial Disparity

Links New Zealand bans suspect’s manifesto (The Detroit News) The New Jim Crowe, by Michelle Alexander (Wikipedia) Jack Maple – creator of CompStat methodology that reduced crime in NYC but ultimately lead to arrest quotas (Wikipedia) North Carolina Jury Sunshine Project findings (Wake Forest University) John Engler, 46th Governor of Michigan, from 1991 to 2003 (Wikipedia) First Step Act (Wikipedia) Criminal Conviction of Charles Kushner (Wikipedia) Assessment...


Ep. 3 - Plea Bargaining

Links Invisibilia, S05E02 - Post, ShootPlea Bargaining in the United States But in this era of mass incarceration — when our nation’s prison population has quintupled in a few decades partly as a result of the war on drugs and the “get tough” movement — these rights are, for the overwhelming majority of people hauled into courtrooms across America, theoretical. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional...


Ep. 2 - Community Engagement

Links Michigan Governor – Gretchen WhitmerEquivalentFlorida Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative (2018) The report [by The Sentencing Project] estimated that, as of 2016, around 6.1 million people, or about 2.5 percent of the U.S. voting age population, were disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. Florida was estimated to have 1,686,318 persons—10.43 percent of the voting age population—disenfranchised due to felonies. The majority of the disenfranchised persons,...


Ep. 1 - What is Criminal Justice?

Links 40% of murders in the US went unsolved in 2017Clearance Rate Bernie Sanders raises $5.9M in 24 hours after announcing 2020 campaign National Criminal Justice Reform Project ( The Sentencing Project (Wikipedia) JEHT Foundation The Unmet Promise of Alternatives to Incarceration, by James Austin and Barry Krisberg (not actually Kay Harris) Kay Harris Obituary ( Stategies, Values, and the Emerging Generation of Alternatives to Incarceration (PDF), by Kay...